Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Righteous Classical Music: Overture to Tannhauser by Richard Wagner

Been a while, my chums! How're y'all doing? I'm okay. My flute AND piccolo both need repairs done, I have two critical auditions coming up, and I hit my head really hard today so we're paying close attention to whether or not I get dizzy or nauseous, haha. So if I start to get incoherent, that's why.

Ahem. Today we're going to talk about one of my favorite works by German composer Richard Wagner. The opera Tannhauser is about a knight/minstrel dude who falls in love with the Greek goddess Aphrodite (or Venus, but I don't like the cut-rate Roman names as much, LOL) and mayhem ensues. I read the synopsis, and I don't really feel like the plot warrants this emotionally charged and rich music, but hey! I'll make a final judgment when I actually see the opera.
When you listen to this music, it might sound very familiar to you! That's because they used it in the hysterical 'Where's Opera, Doc?' Looney Tunes episode! Am I annoyed that they used this music in their silly cartoon? Not at all. Thanks to that cartoon, this beautiful music has been researched and listened to by many!

Allright, so the music.
The famous 'Return my love!' theme is actually the tune of the 'Pilgrim's Chorus' from Act I. That piece is amazing too. We begin with a somber, yet uplifting low-winds chorale. From there the music grows in tension and determination until the brass burst forth with an inspiring and heroic rendition of the Pilgrim's Chorus. Listen to it! ;D
This music sends shivers down my spine! Love it. Very dramatic and powerful.


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